James R. Schaffer, P.A.

How to modify custody arrangements when relocating

| Jun 23, 2020 | Custody |

When a custody agreement is in place, it can feel like you can’t make changes in your life. However, this is simply not true. If you receive an excellent job offer or need to move out of state for another reason the state finds valid, you can modify your Florida custody arrangements.

What’s the process for altering your arrangements?

There are two ways to approach relocation. Your chosen path will depend on the kind of relationship you have with your former spouse.

  • Relocation by agreement: You and all concerned custody parties may sign a written agreement that reflects consent for the move, defines the parenting schedule and describes transportation arrangements, if necessary.
  • Petition to relocate: If an agreement is not feasible or reasonable, a parent must file a petition and serve it upon his or her co-parent. It must indicate intent to move, reasoning, a new mailing address and a proposal for a new visitation schedule. The petition must include a statement indicating that a failure to respond or object within 20 days of service implies consent for relocation.

What factors does the court consider if your spouse objects to your petition?

The same factors that the court considered when awarding the initial custody arrangement apply to modifications. The primary concern of the court is the best interest of the child. If the child is old enough to have an opinion, the court will consult them. Financial factors such as offers of employment will also be considered.